Hillary Clinton speaks to Delaware voters in Wilmington

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign stop

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign stop

Democratic presidential candidate spoke to Delaware voters in Wilmington Monday morning.

A crowd of Hillary Clinton supporters cheered and chanted as Gov. Jack Markell, D-Delaware, escorted the former Secretary of State onto the stage at the World Café Live theater in Wilmington.

One day before the state’s presidential primary election Clinton asked the audience for their vote, promising to create jobs, protect their healthcare and defend women’s rights.

“If you will go out and vote for me tomorrow I will stand up and fight for you in this campaign all the way into the White House, and every single day I will get up and figure out how I can improve the lives and protect the American people and make sure the children have the chance to live up to their God given potential,” she said.

Clinton is the third candidate to speak to the public in Delaware during their campaigns. Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders spoke in Wilmington Saturday and Republican Donald Trump spoke in Harrington Friday.

Going into the polls Clinton leads Sanders with 1,944 total delegates. The Democratic candidates need 2,383 delegates to win the nomination.

Clinton has received endorsements from the majority of legislators in Delaware. When introducing Clinton on Monday, Markell called her the most qualified candidate to run for president in his lifetime.

“She has spent her entire adult life fighting for the most vulnerable among us,” he said. “She is well respected around the world and she will hit the ground running as Commander in Chief.”

During the event U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, told the audience he met Clinton many years ago when she was First Lady of Arkansas, and considers her a friend and someone he looks up to as a political leader.

“Over decades nothing speaks more concisely to who Clinton is than that she sees the challenges facing working Americans, she is passionate about finding solutions for them, and she gets busy working, doing it, making a difference and getting in the fight for Americans,” he said.

Congressman John Carney, D-Delaware, also pointed to Clinton’s record as First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State.

“We need a president who knows how to take big ideas and make them a reality. She’s not about headlines, she’s not about shock value, she’s not about partisanship, she’s not about the refusal to compromise,” he said.

“She’s about bringing people together and delivering on the American dream. She’s about making life better for every single American.”

During her speech Clinton promised to increase jobs, especially manufacturing jobs, and keep them in the United States. She said she also wants to create more apprentice programs for trade jobs. Clinton said she will support small businesses, especially those owned by women and minorities.

She received the loudest applause when promising to raise the minimum wage and ensuring equal pay for women.

“Americans have not got a raise in 15 years and some Americans still haven’t recovered from the great recession,” she said of the economy. “They need a president who will be on their side, will fight for them and help produce results and that’s what I pledge I will do.”

Clinton addressed the wage gap between men and women and said she will fight for women’s rights.

“I’ve been shopping for decades. And I have never got to the cashier at the supermarket or any store and have the cashier look at me and say, ‘Well you’re a white woman you only have to pay 78 cents on the dollar, or you’re an African American woman, you only have to pay 65, 68, cents, or you’re a Latina woman, you only have to pay 55 or 48 cents.’ There is no woman’s discount,” she said.

It was a sentiment that spoke to Sandra Edmonds of Wilmington, who lined up outside the theater at 5:45 a.m. She said she believes Clinton is highly qualified and is an advocate for mental healthcare, gun control and women’s rights.

“Women have waited too long to earn 100 percent of what men earn. I’ve worked all my life and still don’t make that much money,” Edmonds said. “There’s someone who has the chance to change that and I’m going to support her.”

Clinton also mentioned Thursday’s tragic death of a Howard High School of Technology student, Amy Joyner, who allegedly was beaten to death by her fellow classmates—calling the incident “heartbreaking.”

“We’ve got to, from an early age, help children and young people to understand fighting doesn’t solve things,” she said. “We have to work with schools, churches and our community groups.”

Clinton defended Obamacare, marriage equality, a woman’s rights to choose and worker’s rights to organize. She also addressed the country’s gun violence statistics, and promised to increase background checks, close several purchasing loopholes and hold gun sellers and manufacturers accountable.

Clinton sporadically attacked Republicans during her speech, denouncing their plans to make tax cuts for the wealthy, denying women’s rights and Muslim rights.

She particularly attacked Donald Trump, the projected Republican primary winner, accusing him of being out of touch with Americans and the rest of the world.

“At some point if you want to become President of the United States you have to become familiar with the United States,” Clinton said.

“You have to spend more time with Americans of all sorts and backgrounds in every part of our country—don’t just fly that jet in and land it and make a big speech and insult everyone you can think of.”

Markell also echoed Clinton’s sentiments during his introduction.

“Do we choose from the Trump’s and Cruz’s of the world? Dissension, derision, division and insults,” he said. “Or do we choose unity and passion and determination and a sense we’re all in this together?”

U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, D-Delaware, also referenced Trump’s immigration policies when urging Delawareans to vote for Clinton.

“We need somebody in this country who doesn’t build walls around America, but builds bridges of understanding so we can get together and get things done,” he said.

Several attendants, like Laura Wisniewski of Newark, said they already had decided to vote for Clinton prior to Monday’s event. Wisniewski said she believes many young Delaware residents like herself support Clinton.

“I think Hillary not only has young people, she has support from all people, which is something the other candidates are lacking, and they have support in one area, whereas Hillary gathers support from all people because she’s relatable,” she said.

Edward Thomas of Wilmington said he supports Clinton because she supports early childhood education, and promises to lower college loans and create middle class jobs.

“This is a historic moment in this nation’s history and this is the time to get a woman elected,” he said. “Right now we have the most qualified person in the history of the country running for office. She does not over-promise or under deliver. She promises what she can deliver and that is very important.”  

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.